The Facebook page says “Raider 48 Gravel Ride” which is kind of a lie.
There’s gravel but there’s also a fair bit of pavement, some really gnarly #1*size crushed stone trails, flow singletrack and shaded dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Also a bit of horseshit. It’s not really a ride and not really a race. I suppose one could choose to ride with a group but the steep climbs and widely varying road surfaces really space things out. After the lead group disappeared within the first 8 miles I was by myself until the pavement started at mile 14.5. A gaggle of riders on cross bikes blew past me and I spent the next 33 miles mostly by myself. I did see a huge gaggle of mountain bikers flying down Nancy Town Lake road on their day 1 Spring Classic ride. I’ve linked the page I found for this below but I’m not really sure what it is? A group ride but I don’t see a sponsoring club?
Anyway, I had a lot of fun. Got a pinch flat from a golden rock right before the paved section at mile 31 and in the space of 5 minutes had two motorists stop to help. As usual I ran out of water and really cracked on the last climb, my rear tire was slowly losing air and the mini-pump I had was worn out (protip: don’t buy plastic barrel pumps!) so I did most of the last 10 miles at a significantly less than ideal tire pressue. I’d really like another crack at that Old Lake Russell road climb. It’s a real gem.
Oh and my front shifter was pretty much broken. Would barely upshift and downshifts could only be made by double/triple clicking past the gear and then working up. Tough mental hurdle to overcome, I even stopped to adjust the cable tension at the bolt and then fine tune with the tension adjustment knob on the shifter but it didn’t make much difference. I’m going to just replace and tune up before Ft. Yargo.
After the race I had a rider introduce himself and say he recognized my bike from this blog. Kinda of funny and really cool. If you see this, thanks for saying hi!
Afterward we ate at a place called the 2 dog cafe in Gainesville. I’m going to stop here after all my North Georgia races from now on. They make most of their items in house and the food was absolutely phenomenal.
*(Crushed stone #1 – Sizes are from 2″ to 4″. The largest of the crushed stone grades. For larger jobs such a culvert ballast.)
Pics From Here: